Travelling abroad with your pet
When travelling abroad with your pet, there are now new rules to follow regarding our recent exit to the EU.
The rules will depend on which country you are going to or coming from.
Going abroad with your pet
If you are considering taking your pet abroad, ensure that you plan ahead. Cats, rabbits and small animals who are not used to travelling and visiting new places ideally should not be taken on holiday as it may prove too stressful for them.
Travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland
From the 1st January 2021, pet travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require you to have additional health preparations carried out, and documentation for each trip. You should contact your Vet prior to travelling to get the latest advice.
For pets who have not travelled previously or if their rabies vaccination is out of date. You must visit your vet at least 21 days before travel. In addition you will need a microchip and rabies vaccination. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old in order to get the rabies vaccination. After the vaccination, they cannot travel for 21 days. Animal Health Certificates [AHC] cannot be produced until the 21 days have elapsed.
Pet passports are no longer valid
UK pet passports are no longer valid. A new Animal Health Certificate is required from your vet. This applies for each journey you make, no matter if your pet has travelled previously to Europe before or not.
To get the certificate you must take your pet to an Official Veterinarian no more than 10 days before you travel. Plan ahead do not leave this until the last minute. We currently have one OV, so appropriately plan to get an appointment.
Tapeworm treatment is also required for certain countries.
Tapeworm treatment is required if you’re travelling to:
When it comes to the administration of the treatment it must be carried out between 24 hours and five days in advance of you arriving into that country. You may be able to get this done at the same time as the Animal Health Certificate if the timings allow.
Pet checks before a holiday
Ensure the place you are staying has everything your pet requires, including emergency contact for a vet and their out of hours service.
Visit your own vet at least a month prior to travelling. Make sure all your vaccinations, flea and worm treatments are all up to date.
You vet, if an OV, will provide a health certificate. This must be used within 10 days of it being issued.
In addition to being microchipped, ensure your pet is wearing an identity tag on its collar with your name, holiday address and contact number, ensuring in the event they got lost it would help with reuniting you.
You may not be able to take dog or cat food into the EU [unless vet specific diets and then only 2kg] in the same way that you cannot take human food of animal origin into the EU. You will need to plan to obtain food on the first day.
Thinking about taking your dog on holiday?
Although it may be nice to take your dog on holiday, not all dogs will enjoy it. Consider things like their health and age prior to booking. It maybe better to have someone look after them for you whilst away.
Always check with your vet to ensure your dog is fit to travel
Consider the weather. You may need to protect your dog from getting heat stroke
Look up dog friendly places to take your dog
Try to keep similar regular routines where possible
Keep them on the same diet
Take their bed with them to help them feel more secure in different surroundings.
Always walk them on a lead
Taking your pet abroad
When taking your pet abroad there are rules to follow depending on the country you are going to or coming from. We have prepared a document to help which you can access here.
For more information call the Pet Travel Scheme helpline on 0370 241 1710.
Furthermore your pet will have to be vaccinated against diseases which we don’t have in the UK, including rabies. If you are unsure please contact your vet for the latest advice.
If you require any further information or have any concerns please get in touch with our team. You can also find out more information in our Pet Travel Guidance Document.
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